The Matter of Temperance


     Introduction:   Temperance is taught in many passages (I Cor. 9: 24, 25). One fruit of the Spirit is temperance (Gal. 5: 22). As we view drug addiction, sexual promiscuity, and relationship problems in our society, we certainly see the need of temperance. One noun translated temperance is defined as, "Self control. The virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sexual appetites" (Thayer, pg. 166, 167).

I. Temperance needed in the control of our bodies.

  A. There are many problems witnessed today that are both reflective and resultant of the philosophy, "if it feels good, do it."

  B. Fornication and adultery are rampant (cp. 2 Pet. 2: 14).

  C. Gluttony and many physically injurious "addictions" that indicate the absence of control are very common. "Flee fornication," Paul enjoined (I Cor. 6: 18).

  D. Paul taught the exercise of self-mastery over our bodies, regardless of the extent of the required effort (I Cor. 9: 26, 27).

II. Temperance in our speech.

  A. Many today exercise no control at all when it comes to their speech. They say things that are confidential and repeat gossip.

  B. Their tongues are use for cursing and speaking filthiness (Eph. 4: 29, 5: 4).

  C. To think before we speak requires temperance (Prov. 10: 19).

III. Temperance in our thoughts.

  A. It is sad but true that many have no control at all over the thoughts that occupy their minds. This is serious because, "as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23: 7).

  B. The scriptures enjoin, "…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10: 5).

     Conclusion:  Peter lists temperance as one of the virtues of the Christian (2 Pet. 1: 6). Peter also taught that acquiring temperance is necessary to making "your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" (vs. 10).